Westchester Cocaine Possession Lawyer
Being charged with cocaine possession in Westchester County can be scary. Cocaine is a serious drug with harsh penalties for possession. But with an experienced Westchester cocaine possession lawyer on your side, you can fight the charges and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.
Understanding Cocaine Possession Charges in Westchester County
Cocaine possession charges in New York depend on the amount you allegedly possessed. Smaller amounts may lead to misdemeanor charges, while larger amounts can result in felony charges with years in prison. Specifically:
- Possession of less than 500 milligrams of cocaine is a misdemeanor charge. For a first offense, this can result in up to 1 year in jail.
- Possession of 500 milligrams to 4 ounces is a class D felony, punishable by 1 to 2.5 years in prison.
- Possession of 4 ounces to 8 ounces is a class C felony, with possible sentences of 3.5 to 8.5 years.
- Possession of 8 ounces to 16 ounces is a class B felony, punishable by 6 to 25 years.
- Possession of 16 ounces or more is a class A-II felony, with sentences from 8 to 20 years.
In addition to jail time, cocaine possession also carries heavy fines up to $100,000 depending on the amount and whether you have prior convictions.
How a Westchester Cocaine Possession Lawyer Can Help
Facing cocaine charges alone can feel overwhelming. But a knowledgeable Westchester cocaine possession lawyer can help by:
- Analyzing the details of your case – An attorney will look at the specifics of your arrest and charges to build the strongest defense. This includes reviewing police reports for any procedural errors.
- Negotiating with the prosecutor – Many drug possession cases end with a plea bargain. Your lawyer can negotiate for charges to be reduced or dismissed.
- Challenging evidence – If the police violated your rights or lack solid evidence, your lawyer can file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the charges.
- Presenting defenses – Viable defenses for cocaine possession include arguing the drugs were not yours or you did not know cocaine was present.
- Guiding you through the legal process – Your lawyer handles communication with the court and prosecutor while advising you at each stage.
Common Defenses for Cocaine Possession
Skilled cocaine possession lawyers have a variety of defenses they may use to fight the charges, including:
- Illegal search and seizure – If the police searched you or your property without probable cause and a warrant, the cocaine found may be excluded.
- Entrapment – Undercover officers cannot coerce you into committing a crime you otherwise wouldn’t. This may invalidate cocaine sales charges.
- Misidentified substance – Lab tests can sometimes mistake legal substances for cocaine. Your lawyer can request retesting.
- Lack of knowledge – You can argue the cocaine was not yours or you were unaware it was present. This is especially effective if others had access to the area.
Alternative Resolutions to Cocaine Possession Charges
Even if the charges cannot be fully dismissed, your lawyer may negotiate alternative resolutions such as:
- Plea bargain to lesser charges – Plead guilty to lower misdemeanor charges in exchange for dropping the felony.
- Pre-trial diversion – Charges are dismissed after completing rehab and remaining arrest-free for 6-12 months.
- Conditional discharge – Charges dismissed after probation. Avoiding further arrests for 1-3 years leads to expungement.
How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help Minimize Penalties
The penalties for cocaine possession in Westchester County can be severe depending on the amount and your criminal history. But an experienced lawyer has tools to help minimize consequences, such as:
- Obtaining bail – Your lawyer can argue for release while your case is pending so you don’t sit in jail.
- Suspended sentence – A portion of jail time may be suspended with probation instead of prison.
- Avoiding felony record – Felonies severely limit future opportunities. Your lawyer may negotiate misdemeanor charges to avoid this outcome.
- Alternative sentencing – Options like inpatient rehab or community service may substitute for incarceration.
- Sentence reduction – Good behavior in prison can reduce the time served. Your lawyer can pursue this option.
Finding the Right Westchester Cocaine Possession Lawyer for Your Case
If you are charged with cocaine possession in Westchester County, it’s critical to have an experienced lawyer on your side. When choosing a lawyer, consider factors like:
- Experience with cocaine cases – Look for a lawyer with a proven record of success specifically with cocaine charges.
- Knowledge of local courts and prosecutors – An attorney familiar with local specifics can better predict outcomes.
- Resources to build a strong defense – Well-resourced lawyers have access to investigators, forensic experts and other tools to defend you.
- Commitment to personalized attention – Make sure your lawyer will truly listen and develop a customized defense for your unique situation.
- Clear communication skills – You need an attorney who can explain the complex legal process to you in understandable terms.
Don’t take chances with your future. The right Westchester cocaine possession lawyer can make all the difference in reaching the best resolution to your charges.